God made marriage. It is a good thing. He said so. A man and a woman together for life. And children come from this union where the two become one flesh. That is where sex comes in. Without it there would be no people. But God set standards. In a word, sexual relationships are to be between a man and his wife. Period. And it is good because God said it was good.
But as with everything else that was ruined at the Fall, so was this blessed concept of marriage. As Proverbs says, man has sought out many inventions. The sexual revolution of the 1960’s has degraded marriage and also brought into the mainstream all kinds of deviancy. It seems as though there are no standards any more. However…
With celebrities, news media giants, and politicians succumbing to allegations of unwanted sexual advances it seems that even liberals have some standards. One of those is that pedophilia is out of bounds. Another is unwanted sexual advances carried out on unwilling females. On the other hand, everything else sexual seems to be just fine. One talk show host allegedly had numerous extra-marital affairs with no outcry. His demise came as a result of forcing favors from an un-consenting woman.
Unfortunately, the church at large has not been a great help. The scandal of Roman Catholic priests assaulting altar boys resulted in millions of dollars of payouts. The fallout continues. These predators disregarded the words of Jesus. “It were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he cast into the sea, than that he should offend one of these little ones” (Lk.16:2).
It is not only the Roman church that houses offenders. A personal friend of mine disclosed that his father, a pastor, invited an evangelist for a series of meetings. Sometime during the meeting the teen, sixteen years old at the time, was in the church basement when the engaged speaker found him alone and proposed a sexual act. The boy refused but was taken aback, to put it mildly.
High profile ministers have been outed for all kinds of sexual impropriety. I recall how I felt as a pastor when one famous evangelist was found to be keeping liaisons with prostitutes. As I walked the streets of our small mid-western town, I wondered if people looked at me as they were looking at that televangelist. In that moment I was almost ashamed to be known as a pastor. The damage done in such situations is incalculable.
After David sinned with Bathsheba he repented. But there was fallout. Nathan the prophet told him that his iniquity was forgiven. “Howbeit, because by this deed thou hast given great occasion to the enemies of the LORD to blaspheme, the child also that is born unto thee shall surely die” (2 Sam. 12:14). How many spiritual children die because of these kinds of sins in the church?
Nathan’s confrontation with David brought about David’s repentance. But things don’t always turn out that well. When King Herod had an affair with his brother, Philip’s wife, he decided to marry her. “For Herod himself had sent forth and laid hold upon John, and bound him in prison for Herodias’ sake, his brother, Philip’s wife: for he had married her. “For John had said unto Herod, It is not lawful for thee to have thy brother’s wife” (Mark 6:18). Instead of leading to repentance, John’s message to the king caused him to be beheaded. How many pastors and evangelists shy away from taking a Biblical stand on divorce and re-marriage because they may lose their position, or greatly offend some Herodias? If it was unlawful for Herod, what makes it lawful for church people?
If it is difficult for preachers to preach that it is unlawful to have another man’s wife, can you imagine the immense hesitancy of a child who is abused to say anything, often with the warning of the predator that if she does he will kill her or her parents. Who knows how many children are victims of such crimes? What we know is that when they are older, they remember and they are scarred. Sadly, too many of them sit in our church pews. Too quiet to tell anyone. Too ashamed. It should never happen. Any where. Never among church people. “But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints” (Eph. 5:4). Repeat that in your heart and mind. Not once. Not even one compromise. Not even one innuendo. Not once!
The perpetrator is the one who should be afraid. Their fate is worse than having a millstone hanged around their neck and being dropped into the ocean.
What is noteworthy about theses celebrities who have been outed for their predation on women is how they are trying to somehow make amends. They say they are sorry they caused someone to feel badly. They aren’t really that kind of person. They will go to rehab. But none of these things can wash away the past. The damage is done. What they need is something I have not heard them say. They need to be washed in the blood of Jesus.
The words of the songwriter are their only hope.
“What can wash away my sins? Nothing but the blood of Jesus.
What can make me whole again? Nothing but the blood of Jesus.”
Go back in your mind to the scene at Golgotha. Three crosses. Three victims. Two for their own crimes. One for the crimes of the whole world. Jesus hung on the middle cross, back bloodied, spit on His face, thorns on His brow, spikes through His hands and feet. The Bible says, “He was made to be sin for us who knew no sin…” He had known it would be so. The previous night in the garden He had prayed that perhaps that bitter cup could be bypassed. No. The Father’s will be done, then.
What was in that cup? Every evil that has ever been done. Every leering look. Every instance of predation. Every kidnapper’s grisly deed. Every fornication committed. Every homosexual and lesbian act. Every molestation. Every adulterous tryst. Every look with the intent to lust. Every abortion. Every murder. Every extortion of money. Every abuse. Every sin of the whole world from Adam to now. My sins were there. Your sins were there. He tasted them all. The wormwood and the gall, the bitter bile in His mouth. Yet He forgave. And then He died.
They buried His body in a borrowed tomb. But that is not the end of the story. On the third day He “was raised again for our justification” (Rom. 4:25). Why? “That we might be made the righteousness of God in him” (2 Cor. 5:21). When we are in Christ we have His righteousness. “You ask me why I’m happy?” the writer queried. “Well, I’ll just tell you why. Because my sins are gone!”
As we have been recently witnessing, sin cannot be hidden forever. “Be sure your sin will find you out” (Num. 32:23).
It has horrible consequences. Yet there is hope, even for the vilest sinner. “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9).
Jesus blood can make you clean.